Anatomy of a honeymoon piece

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, November 30th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government - Tags:

Most of our political journalists are more than capable of producing informative, insightful pieces. For instance, Claire Trevett wrote an excellent series of pieces that confirmed John Key had stolen Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ for his ‘Ambiguous for NZ’ DVD. She researched the legalities of the issue, consulted a musicologist on the tune, brought forward a confession from National, and asked Labour for comment. Solid.

Now, look at this article from Saturday, also by Trevett:

– Bill English repeats his campaign lines with no facts to support them. They are accepted without question. No details on the substantive policies National/ACT wants to implement are provided. There is not even any recognition of the fact that English is providing no substance, just spin. So, one has to wonder if substance was sought.

– no response from Labour is included (and it hasn’t been sought otherwise it would say Labour had no comment). Can you imagine Labour making significant comments and no response from National being sought? No, because it doesn’t happen, except when honeymoon-think undermines journalistic standards.

– no independent expert is quoted backing up or discrediting English’s line. No statistics or other context are provided.

All these things leave us with nothing more than a puff piece, the kind of thing you would get if you asked National’s spin doctors to write it. This a perfect example of how ‘honeymoon’ thinking afflicts the media and shows that it is a media phenomena, contrary to what John Armstrong says. The media thinks there is honeymoon and so they make it true by not carrying out normal journalistic practice, by giving National a baby-soft ride. As Rawdon Christie said on Agenda today, ‘the honeymoon continues’, and it will continue as long as the journos believe it does.

This vacuous honeymoon groupthink undercuts the performance of even our more able journalists. That’s a problem for anyone who wants an informed public.

The really weird and disappointing thing is that long after every honeymoon is over you see media looking back at it with a mixture of shame and confusion. ‘Why did that happen?’, the journos ask ‘it’s embarrassing to recall how we gave them such an easy ride’.

It’s time they faced up to the fact that it is a media problem and the journos’ responsibility to fix.

33 comments on “Anatomy of a honeymoon piece ”

  1. “Freedom of Speech” – in their case the freedom to abuse it.

  2. the sprout 2

    The ongoing NACT-msm circle-jerk is fairly nauseating. But while it’s all smiles and matey mates for now, remember too that before long those relationships will sour and turn septic.

    Honeymoon this may be but both journalists and politicians alike have unusually high divorce rates.

    What’s also good is that there are now journals like The Standard that can keep a permanent online record of what journalists are saying now, so that in a few months or years time when the naively obsequious journalist of today tries to become tomorrow’s valiant cynic of government, we can remind a broader readership of how gullible such cheerleaders had been.

  3. Liar 3

    [deleted]
    [lprent: bye probably dad]

  4. “probably dad”? With his limited vocab you could say “definitely dad” 😉 . How many times did he mention snakes?

  5. Ari 5

    “Freedom of Speech’ – in their case the freedom to abuse it.

    This isn’t a freedom of speech issue. The government’s not doing anything to enforce the honeymoon period- it’s all the media deciding that they should softball the government to go along with expectations. Exactly whose expectations is an open question.

    Even a honeymoon period does not excuse ignoring every other party, nor does it excuse a lack of alternative view point or frame of reference. These are bad journalistic practices even when you have good reason to softball someone.

  6. Cato 6

    What’s with “National’s Plug” at the bottom?

    This isn’t Rove

  7. Tigger 7

    LOL – National’s plug = the hair plugs Key will need if his hairline recedes any further…

    Yep, pretty lacklustre journalism here – no one questioning how $47 a week plus some yet quite formed ideas are going to stop anyone from leaving for Oz. What everyone is missing is that the NZ ‘exodus’ to Oz is repeated worldwide – small towns to cities, cities to bigger cities, big city in small country to big city in bigger country etc… It’s part of the migration psyche. $47 a week and some indentured doctors are not going to stem migration. It’s just a fact of life.

    Anyway, once Oz runs out of water (I give them 20 years or less) that should staunch the flow across the ditch…

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The honeymoon hasn’t started yet. They’re still getting drunk at the wedding reception.

    I suppose we could blame Helen Clark. November election = new government formed in time for the Santa parade. 99% of the population will be anaesthetised until February. It was always going to happen.

    The real danger is not the media honeymoon so far, it’s what happens when Parliament sits (from Dec 8?). If I were a NACTivist pining for the days of Roger on speed, I’d be cramming everything into those two weeks. The government could sell every school and hospital to Fay Richwhite, and Close-Up would still lead with Jason Gunn and Wendy Petrie singing Feliz Navidad.

  9. Tommy Douglas 9

    Totally agree!

    However, you write that “The media thinks there is honeymoon and so they make it true by not carrying out normal journalistic practice, by giving National a baby-soft ride”

    That should read: “The media THINK” since the word ‘media’ is plural.

  10. Bill 10

    Chomsky on the the Public Relations Industry with reference to elections ( well worth reading if you feel like extrapolating to a NZ context) http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/19749

    “The industry’s prime task is to ensure that uninformed consumers make irrational choices, thus undermining market theories.  And it recognizes the benefits of undermining democracy the same way.”

    The people who work for media outlets are a fairly representative cross section of society….not more diligent or better informed; neither smarter nor more conscientious.If they were, they would not find ready employment within the context of a corporate media which, by necessity operates on PR spin.

    Put it this way, would you expect Shell Oil to disseminate devastating reports on oil related pollution? So why expect a corporate media that is essentially an arm of the PR industry to disseminate meaningful news pieces on the political system that ‘underwrites’ them?

    Here’s a stark example from http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/19789

    “A former Prime Minister of India died the very morning that Mumbai was attacked.
    Not once through these days have I noticed the slightest mention even in a ticker tape on any channel but one. I mean not even the news of his passing.

    And not just because our elite channels were so engrossed in bringing to the nation every second of the attack on the Taj and the Oberoi.

    Let me say this: had it not been him but another former Prime Minister who is still happily with us, although ill and sidelined by his own party, the channels would at the least have divided their time equally between him and the events in Mumbai.

    So why was Vishwanath Pratap Singh so rudely and with such vulgar disdain ignored even in his passing?

    Because, I venture to say, there has been no more a hated figure for South-Mumbai India than him who was not merely a man of integrity next only to Nehru, and secular to the same timbre, but perhaps the most imaginative political mind of India since Nehru.”

  11. Ianmac 11

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10545840
    “The new Government’s decision to put the emissions trading scheme on hold pending a review came as a bolt from the blue. Stakeholders had been led to expect that there would be some changes to the ETS but the proposal to pass legislation putting it on hold was completely unexpected.”

    An interesting read in the Herald though it has no comment fom anyone. Probably pass by and be replaced with a big story of a dead parrot?

  12. Daveski 12

    Perhaps the solution is for every journalist to send stories to you for checking before publication?

    There always will be a honeymoon for any incoming govt and I suspect that there is an allowance for the gravity of the situation that we are facing.

    To claim barely 3 weeks after the election that the media is giving the govt a soft run is hilarious and simply highlights the lack of balance here, not in the media. It’s no different to the consistent lines here about the purported bias of the media in favour of the Nats during the election when the analysis showed, if anything, the Nats got more negative press.

    BTW I’m not expecting balance here – this is a passionate, pro-Left blog and all power to you. But don’t expect the rest of the world to agree with your biased, partisan view of the media or the Govt’s performance so far.

  13. Ianmac 13

    Dveski: John Key assured us that he had viable plans and persuaded us that the Labour Lead Govt was tired and had no fresh ideas. He knew just what was needed long before the election. He is an honourable man and we expect that his plans were all ready prepared. But wait! No details? Just an endless repeat of the election slogans? The questions outnumber the answers hugely! They must be answered and soon.

  14. Bill 14

    Ianmac.

    I note that the piece you linked to was ‘an opinion’ piece, therefore to be seen in lesser terms than a ‘news’ piece…which would properly be considered ‘objective’ and worthy of being held in higher regard.

    That the ‘objectivity’ would have centred around something like the colour of JK’s tie when he was flipping that particular flop would not be meant to be taken as consequential when considering the newsworthiness of the writing.

    That it would be termed as ‘news’ is of itself reason enough to rely on it as a piece of information. Tuku Morgan’s underpants come to mind yet again.

  15. Daveski 15

    lanmac – my point is that these comments would be valid after 3 or 6 months. Remember, Labour’s “policy” was a December mini-budget, with no details.

    All I’m pointing out is the naivety of claiming the honeymoon is a MSM conspiracy when any govt would be given time to make decisions.

    I’ll happily review my position in 3-6 months but to criticise any incoming govt for a lack of action after 20 odds days doesn’t seem to me to be realistic.

  16. lprent 16

    Daveski, the first action will be whatever bills are carried over. I think that gets done on that session on Dec 8th. That will be interesting – check No Right Term who has a list.

  17. Bill 17

    Daveski.

    It’s not so much the government that is being given a free ride as the vested interests behind the government and their policies.

    Meaningful, informative ‘news’ is off the cards because the public would become informed and we’d realise that our interests do not coincide with their interests. (‘Them’ being  the corporates who shape/ enormously influence our governments and drive (are) our soap bubble shnooze.)

  18. Daveski 18

    Bill – my final comment as I MUST do some work 🙂

    You’re trying to beat up a conspiracy based on your opposing view of the govt and an opinion piece. Let’s have this discussion in 6 months time and if everything has tanked and the Granny is still lauding the “new” Government, than SP et al will have a valid point.

  19. randal 19

    the media in this country needs its ass kicked.
    they do the same old stuff over and over and every one whimpers but no one does anything
    these so called journalists are middle class dweebs who think they have a calling but all they want is an easy ride and a seat at the top table
    all new zealand has got is a sows ears purse filled with sows ears
    part of the 1980’s revolution was getting rid of standards instituted during the 1930’s and 1940’s without which it would have been impossible to prosecute the second world war
    now they are nearly all gone and nobody knows what a standard is anymore
    does anyone understand what I have just said or is it to much for solipsistic infantilised individuals to understand

  20. Bill 20

    Daveski, I don’t think there is a conspiracy. Just powerful interests defending/ propagating their interests. It’s normal.

    My point is that the ambitions of business can only succeed by keeping the public…the source of potential opposition… relatively uninformed.

    To steal from the quote I used further up….”uninformed consumers make irrational choices”. There is no conspiracy, just a sad state of affairs.

    Enjoy work.

  21. Graeme 21

    Daveski, the first action will be whatever bills are carried over. I think that gets done on that session on Dec 8th.

    Not the 8th. 8th is swearing-in plus election of the speaker.

    It will be the 9th. Parliament will meet, and be called over to listen to the Speech from the Throne is the Legislative Council Chamber; they’ll return and there will be a motion appointing a Deputy Speaker, and two motions appointing assistant speakers as the first orders of business. Re-instatement will happen after this.

    The debate on the address in reply will start on the 10th.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    All I’m pointing out is the naivety of claiming the honeymoon is a MSM conspiracy when any govt would be given time to make decisions.

    But Daveski – it’s not the MSMs place to make that decision. It’s the decision of peoples of NZ to make given all of the information. The journalists should still be asking the hard questions of the government and reporting them so that the peoples can make that decision. The MSM acts as if it is their decision though.

  23. Ianmac 23

    Are the first sessions “under urgency” and therefore not subject to debate or Select Committees?

  24. lprent 24

    Graeme: It will be interesting – first time this new government gets down to doing any detail work. I have this sneaky suspicion that is going to be their weak point.

  25. Ianmac 25

    Bill: You seem to dismiss “opinion pieces” as not as good as “factual” pieces. If an opinion piece was written by Hooten or Ralston, I would dismiss it smartly. If it was written by authentic experts in their field like Oram or “Peter Neilson is chief executive of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. Gary Taylor is chairman of the Environmental Defence Society. Peter Clark is chief executive of P F Olsen Ltd.” I would treat their opinions with respect.
    And “facts” are only as good as the truth in the words of the writer.

  26. Bill 26

    Ianmac.”Bill. You seem to dismiss “opinion pieces’ as not as good as “factual’ pieces.”Not so. Sorry you got that impression

  27. Bill 27

    Steve, others who bemoan the state of the media and those who don’t seem ‘to get’ what the fuss is about.

    This, by Johnathan Cook responding to Media Lens pretty well encapsulates the myriad problems with the media.

    Too many potentially ‘golden’ quotes. I really do urge you to click on the link and enjoy an illuminating read.

    http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2860

  28. Rodel 28

    On the plight of Kiwis` stranded in Bangkok..Can’t believe the PM said on national TV.(1/12/08)
    ..”there’s a cost element..and ah obviously y’know if..if that was the ah..only alternative we would,eh,we would, we would obviously explore that option..but there’s timing issues and at this point it’s probably quicker getting people out on the Thai airlines flight..”.

    ..A cost element?To those held hostage at Bangkok by the appropriately yellow coated right wing (rent-a-crowd) protestors, how do you feel about your own PM being worried about the cost issues of getting you out of danger?

    Nice decisive thinking Mr K.

  29. Bill 29

    Rodel.

    You know why people have occupied the airport? BTW they are in yellow. The pro-government counter protesters wore red…and smack of ‘rent-a-crowd’ in my mind.

    For all the news overage on 1 and 3, I still haven’t heard any explanation on what it’s all about….just a lot of soap about Kiwi tourists and their bus/car journeys to other countries/airports.

    A bit like Mumbai really. A lot of soap and no analysis or explanation concerning the context.

    Of course, on the Air NZ crash, the media are in their element. There are no issues to explore and they can revel in shlock and B/S, even down to TV3 ‘informatively’ pointing out that black boxes are red ’cause they are easier to find…

  30. Chris G 30

    Wow that is a crap article. Its like a National party press statement, it even reads like one with the bullet points of policy (To hammer them in to the mind)

  31. randal 31

    the new zealand meedia are still stuck at the level of if the palestinians are ‘given’ their own state then peace will come immediately to the whole middle east
    yeah right
    the meedia here are infantile, solipsistic and most of all unlettered and worst of all proud of their ignorance
    there are no standards in this country and that is the way they prefer it
    that way they never have to come up to the mark and while the rest are fixated on hardly davidsons, overseas trips and and any other frippery that one might imagine then nothing will change

  32. Rodel 32

    Reply to Bill 2 December on the Thai protests.
    If you read the article by Gwynne Dwyer on page B4 of the Christchurch Press (December 20) you may gain a different perspective on the Thai democracy issue and why our PM was reluctant to act decisively.

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    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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